Free Exhibit Resources

Exhibit Resources from POW!

The Great Big Exhibit Resource List

A constantly updated compendium of resources for museum design and exhibit fabrication (including websites and contact information.)
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Donor Recognition Examples

This is a PDF of examples of Donor Walls and other recognition devices in museums that were featured in an ExhibiTricks blog post. It’s a BIG file so be patient as it loads.
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Cheap Exhibit Ideas from the ASTC Exhibit Cheapbooks

Here are a few examples of the types of simple, inexpensive exhibit ideas to be found in each of the three volumes of The Exhibit Cheapbooks which I originated and edited.
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POW! in The New York Times

A nice review of a children’s interactive art exhibition I created for the Nassau County Museum of Art.
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Downloadable Exhibit Articles by Paul Orselli

“Producing Great Exhibits on a (Not So Great) Budget”

My article from the January/February 2014 issue of ASTC’s Dimensions magazine. Some simple, inexpensive ways to add to your exhibits program.
>> download the PDF now

“Green Design Nuts and Bolts”

An article jam-packed with resources and techniques to help you expand your green exhibit design toolkit.
>> download the PDF now

“Million Dollar Pencils and Duct Tape: Some Thoughts on Prototyping”

Concrete examples and tips about how to move through each phase of the exhibit prototyping process.
>> download the PDF now

“Good Things Come In Small Packages” (Small Museums Article)

Lessons learned from a quarter century of working with a variety of different types and sizes of museums.
>> download the PDF now

ExhibiTricks blog

  • Hayao Miyazaki's Museum Manifesto

    Hayao Miyazaki is a film artist who has created some amazing animated films for Studio Ghibli in Japan.  (Some of my favorites include "Spirited Away" and "My Neighbor Totoro".) He also has created one of my all-time favorite museum manifestos, which I think is worth revisiting from time to time.

    To capture some of the spirit and history of the films and the film studio, there is a Ghibli Museum in Mitaka, Japan.  I've haven't had the pleasure of visiting the Ghibli Museum in person (yet!) but as I was perusing the Ghibli Museum website, I noticed a link to "A Few Words from Executive Director Hayao Miyazaki"on the home page.

    The Link leads to a mini manifesto from Director Miyazaki entitled, "This is the Kind of Museum I Want to Make!"

    I think it is wonderful (and gutsy!) for the director of any museum to share the guiding principles behind the creation of their museum in such an up-front way, but I also thought some of the Director Miyazaki's thoughts were worth sharing here:

    This is the Kind of Museum I Want to Make!
    A museum that is interesting and which relaxes the soul
    A museum where much can be discovered
    A museum based on a clear and consistent philosophy
    A museum where those seeking enjoyment can enjoy, those seeking to ponder can ponder, and those seeking to feel can feel
    A museum that makes you feel more enriched when you leave than when you entered!

    To make such a museum, the building must be...
    Put together as if it were a film
    Not arrogant, magnificent, flamboyant, or suffocating
    Quality space where people can feel at home, especially when it's not crowded
    A building that has a warm feel and touch
    A building where the breeze and sunlight can freely flow through

    The museum must be run in such a way so that...
    Small children are treated as if they were grown-ups
    The handicapped are accommodated as much as possible
    The staff can be confident and proud of their work
    Visitors are not controlled with predetermined courses and fixed directions
    It is suffused with ideas and new challenges so that the exhibits do not get dusty or old, and that investments are made to realize that goal

    The museum shop will be...
    Well-prepared and well-presented for the sake of the visitors and running the museum
    Not a bargain shop that attaches importance only to the amount of sales
    A shop that continues to strive to be a better shop
    Where original items made only for the museum are found

    This is what I expect the museum to be, and therefore I will find a way to do it

    This is the kind of museum I don't want to make!

    A pretentious museum
    An arrogant museum
    A museum that treats its contents as if they were more important than people
    A museum that displays uninteresting works as if they were significant

    What do you think of Haya Miyazaki's ideas about museums? (Let us know in the "Comments" section below.)

    Personally, his words make me want to visit the Ghibli Museum even more now!

    And Director Miyazaki's mini manifesto also begs a question: What sort of message to visitors does your Executive Director post on your Museum's website?

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